World Cup winner and batting great Sunil Gavaskar on Sunday urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly to come up with a plan to organise a Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) in the country from 2021.
Sunil Gavaskar said India have already unearthed quite a few precious talents in women’s cricket and having an IPL for women will only benefit the team more and help them win major tournaments in the future.
Gavaskar’s comments came after India finished runners-up in Sunday’s Women’s T20 World Cup final. Harmanpreet Kaur’s team was completely outclassed by hosts Australia who went on to win their 5th T20 World Cup trophy in front of an 85,000-strong crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Notably, the BCCI has hosted Women’s IPL exhibition matches in the last 2 years but has said a full-fledged Women’s IPL tournament will take some time to take shape. On the other hand, Australia have already hosted 5 editions of a highly-successful Women’s Big Bash League. England also have their own women’s T20 league — Kia Super League that has seen 4 successful editions.
“As far as the BCCI is concerned, they are already doing a lot and which is the reason why this Indian women’s team has progressed so much. They went to Australia almost a month before the tournament started, and played a 3-match T20I series (tri-series) against the Australians.
“They did well over there. They were very well acclimated to the conditions and the pitches in Australia. So you have got to give credit to the BCCI for having done that,” Sunil Gavaskar told India Today after the T20 World Cup final on Sunday.
“To Sourav Ganguly and the BCCI, I would like to say, maybe next year, look at having a women’s IPL because that will unearth a lot more talent. There is already a lot of talent which we see and that will come to the fore with this performance of this Indian team throughout this tournament.
“The Australian cricket board has backed Australian women’s team for a long, long time. The Women’s Big Bash League has given plenty of opportunities to players, even our players. The likes of Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet they have played in the WBBL. That is the tournament where you get to play against the best players and learn from that,” Sunil Gavaskar told India Today after the MCG final on Sunday.
“That certainly has helped them to find many more players, just like the IPL has helped them to find many more players — the Indian men’s cricket team.
“It (IPL) has gone deep into the interiors of India. We have got youngsters coming up from the interiors of India and showing their skills. Therefore, that much wider talent pool is available for selection. That’s exactly what happened with the Australian WBBL.
“Even if there are not 8 teams, a Women’s IPL will make a lot of sense. There will be a lot more exposure for women. A lot more talent, which is there but we don’t know at the moment will come to the fore. And then, as the years go by, Indian women’s team will start winning a lot more trophies.